Questioning Aesthetics Symposium Recap

On Friday March 13, ARC hosted the Questioning Aesthetics Symposium, where we invited a range of scholars and artists to help us think through three unique yet connected frames of “aesthetics,” asking: When is art participatory? When is computing aesthetic? and When is art contemporary?

All of the individual presentations, and each of the panel conversations, testified to the breadth and depth of our intellectual and artistic community, bringing different disciplinary perspectives to urgent questions while fulfilling ARC’s goal of creating “unexpected conversations” around issues of concern to us all. As part of the symposium, Lyndsey Ogle (Performance Studies PhD Candidate/ARC Grad Assistant) crafted a symposium Reader titled: Mapping the Conversation, in addition to capturing the many books, articles, and documents that were mentioned throughout the 3-panel symposium. This ‘living archive’ is now an interactive research bibliography on these developing fields, and we invite you to visit the webpage and join the Arts Research Center Zotero Group to explore the full reader index or comment on the expanding field of aesthetic inquiry.We would like to thank Dean Anthony Cascardi and Professor Whitney Davis for their generous introductions to the day and positioning of the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics in relation to the symposium, and also all our panelist for When Is Art Participatory? (Grant Kester, Dee Hibbert-Jones, Ted Purves (and Susanne Cockrell in spirit) and Jen Delos Reyes; When is Computing Aesthetic? (Greg Niemeyer, Edward Shanken, Sharon Daniel,  and Eric Paulos; When Is Art Contemporary? Julia Bryan-Wilson, Richard Meyer, Jeffrey Skoller, SanSan Kwan); and finally to Encyclopedia of Aesthetics Editor Michael Kelly for such an all encompassing wrap-up of the day!

QA Images

From left to right: Whitney Davis introducing the day; When Is Art Participatory? panel with Grant Kester, Dee Hibbert-Jones, Ted Purves, Jen Delos Reyes, and Shannon Jackson.; Julia Bryan-Wilson introducing When Is Art Contemporary?; Greg Niemeyer introducing When is Computing Aesthetic?; Slide from Eric Paulos’ talk; Encyclopedia of Aesthetics Editor Michael Kelly’s concluding remarks.

As always, a big thank you to ARC staff Lauren Pearson and Sarah Gibbons, and to our corps of volunteers Kate Mattingly, Nick Randhawa, and Megan Hoetger, and our excellent work-study Kate Masancay. Last but not least, thank you to the History of Art Department for their willingness to let us take over their forum room, and the Transdisciplinary Aesthetics Foundation for their support.